20 Striker Fiorentina Uruguay
A Uruguayan forward with genuine pace, an unnerving confidence on the ball and a constant desire to shoot; Jaime Báez has set off more than his fair share of ‘new Luis Suarez’ klaxons.
Jaime is a lovely clean striker of the ball from set-pieces, has a trick or two up his sleeve and looks comfortable on either foot. He basically ticks all the boxes of a South American forward with a little added height that he can use to his advantage.
Báez is a well-rounded forward and appeared to be a smart pick-up by Fiorentina when they confirmed his signing during the summer. He can do almost everything asked of a forward – provide an aerial threat, get in behind slow-turning defenders and be an outlet for his midfield.
When in possession, Jaime is constantly trying to fashion a scoring opportunity – by running at the defence and waiting on them to blink first. His reactions are sharp enough that he is always ready to pounce on the smallest of mistakes – a shift of balance in the wrong direction, a hesitation tracking a run – and knows exactly where the goal is.
His awareness of everyone around him is another plus point.
2015 has been…
Since moving to Italy, Jaime has disappeared from view. The 20 year-old is yet to make his senior debut for the Viola. As far as we know he has been playing with the reserve team and doing good things; but reserve team football is absolutely no barometer on progress.
We are slightly saddened that he hasn’t shown enough to get even the shortest of cameos so far in his short time in Italy; and expect it will be some time before he is a regular name on the substitute’s bench, never mind the starting line-up. Fiorentina’s presence in the Serie A title race will only make it harder for Jaime to feature.
Jaime is young. He doesn’t turn 21 until April and has still got plenty of time to develop. Time is also in his favour when he stacked up against his immediate rivals in the Fiorentina team. Nikola Kalinić is 27 and Giuseppe Rossi is 28; Báez can wait them out if he has to, although we would prefer he didn’t.
There has to be a team crying out for a forward player like Jaime. The only downside to his game is the lack of an ultimate x-factor. There is no particular spark that helps him stand out from other forwards from the same region – except perhaps his Italian passport. He doesn’t need to go through the same hoops as others to play in Europe and we hope that will lead to a loan deal or co-ownership agreement to kick 2016 off.
D In desperate need of competitive playing time
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